Over $20 million in grant funding for Safe Routes to School and the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is available for building bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure or construction/engineering projects! Apply for a grant today!
What is a TAP Grant?
TAP funding includes much of what was formally Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School (SRTS) and Recreation Trails funds. The NJDOT and New Jersey’s three Metropolitan Organizations (MPOs) have decided to maintain separate SRTS and Rec Trails programs and solicit applications for all other qualifying projects under TAP. Any New Jersey local government, school, regional transportation authority, transit agency, natural resource/public land agency and tribal government can apply for funds. Unfortunately, nonprofit organizations are NOT eligible as direct recipients. However, nonprofit organizations may partner with a local public agency that will assume responsibility and administration for the grant.
TAP provides federal funds for community based “non-traditional” projects designed to strengthen the cultural, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of the nation’s intermodal system. NJDOT has elected to run a hybrid program for this solicitation, providing maximum flexibility in using both SAFETEA-LU and MAP-21 funds.
- Provision of facilities for bikes and pedestrians,
- Historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation buildings, structures and facilities.
- Preservation of abandoned railroad corridors (including conversion to pedestrian and bike trails)
- Environmental mitigation to address water pollution
- Mitigation to reduce wildlife mortality
- Scenic or historic highway programs, including the provision of tourist and welcome center facilities as well as scenic turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas,
Previously eligible activities and projects NOT included under TAP are:
- Pedestrian and bicycle safety and education programs
- Acquisition of scenic or historic easements and site
- Establishment of transportation museums
Applying for TAP grant funding doesn’t have to be difficult. The following tips will help strengthen your application and increase the chances of receiving a grant:
Ensure your municipality is on board.
Support from the municipality is critical and necessary so be sure to include a Resolution of Support. “NJDOT wants to be assured that all parties affected by the proposed project are on board with the construction,” explains Debbie Kingsland from NJDOT’s Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs. “It is also important that there is local commitment to maintenance of the project.” Once construction projects are approved and completed, maintenance must be considered and assured.
Create a comprehensive program.
A good grant proposal: 1) outlines all aspects of infrastructure (access, street crossings, speed reduction, etc.) and proposes a project that addresses stated barriers, problems, and safety issues, 2) documents the infrastructure problems using speed studies, crash data, photos, or anything else that details the severity of the problem and demonstrates a true funding need, 3) promotes non-automotive forms of transportation and/or 4) identifies an urgent need for the project (resources could be lost if the project is not implemented). Furthermore, a project that is part of a larger transportation, land use or economic development plan also improves the quality of the application.
Earn extra points on your application.
Projects eligible for TAP funding that demonstrate benefits to the community, economy, tourism, quality of life and environment will be given extra consideration. In addition, municipalities with Designated Centers, Transit Villages and Complete Streets policies will also earn extra points. Indicating that your project is “construction-ready” is also critical as it shows a level of commitment and readiness.
The application deadline is extended to June 30, 2014.
For assistance with questions about applying for TAP grants, please contact your SRTS Regional Coordinator.
Complete the application online using NJDOT’s SAGE system.
For more information about applying for TAP grants, please check our funding webpage.
Review the TAP Tip Sheet to strengthen your grant application.